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How to get over imposter syndrome

“I don’t deserve this.”

“I just got lucky.”

“Everyone else here is better than me.”

Imposter syndrome is something many of us young women experience whilst navigating through education and the world of work. Sometimes we feel inferior and unworthy of our achievements and accolades. Other times we feel like the goals we are working towards are unattainable because of who we are. 

Imposter syndrome can affect anyone regardless of their position or successes in life. For instance, Michelle Obama expressed how she always asked herself whether she was ‘good enough’ to be the First Lady of America. From the outside looking in, you never would have guessed! She was an amazing First Lady who shared her wisdom through inspirational speeches, made significant changes across America, and showed young girls around the world that they can do whatever they put their minds to. If she felt like an imposter even after all those things she did, you are probably also the only one who questions your ability or whether you are ‘good enough’. 

It is also worth mentioning that the imposter syndrome phenomenon can stem from insecurities other people project onto us and comments other people make about us. However, it does not mean that they’re right. Without sounding too cliché, you need to be selective about what you listen to. The only ‘negative’ form of comments you should take in is constructive criticism which will help you progress and enhance your craft. Anything else that doesn’t fall into that category should go through one ear and out the other! 

Say this along with me: “I am worthy,  I am capable, I am intelligent, and I can achieve what I put my mind to”.

Affirmations like that can open your eyes to the fact that you are where you are due to hard work, not due to luck. It will also make you realise that you have the potential to achieve even more in life. Alongside this, there are many other things you should do to drown out that false feeling of being unworthy and incapable: 

Keep educating yourself. 

One of the biggest reasons why some people experience imposter syndrome is because they feel unqualified or that they don’t know as much as others do. 

Funnily enough, you can make this feeling work for the greater good. Knowledge is power and there is almost no scenario where knowledge is not useful. So, you could make it a point to consistently stay up to date on things, do further research into your career and/or educational interests and engage in anything that will help you gain a deeper understanding about your interest. 

Be consistent and never give up. 

You have to accept that sometimes the road will get bumpy and things will not always go as planned. But it does not mean that you are less than anyone else or that you are incapable of achieving your goal. 

 J.K Rowling, one of the most famous authors in the world, was rejected by twelve publishing companies when she pitched her Harry Potter idea. It was on her 13th attempt with Bloomsbury publishing that she scored the goal. And just look at her now, she has sold more than 400 million copies of Harry Potter books worldwide! Wouldn’t it have been a shame if she stopped trying after her first attempt?

Say “yes”!

Going for it and saying “yes” to opportunities is one of the most effective ways to overcome imposter syndrome. By the end of the experience, you will realise that you were more than capable and that you were worrying over nothing. So, don’t let the voice in your head prevent you from progressing and excelling. If you feel unqualified or unworthy just go for it because you never know who you will meet or what will happen. Even if it goes wrong – which isn’t likely – at least you know what to do next time! 

Nobody is perfect.  

Perfectionism is a myth and trying to obtain it before accepting opportunities is the worst idea ever. Whilst you may feel like you need to reach a certain standard before you do something please remember that the person you are comparing yourself to hasn’t got it all together either!  You are more prepared and capable than you think. So, if you want to do something, do it now!

This desire has been placed in your heart for a reason and you have every right to pursue it. Stop denying yourself of the amazing things you deserve in life and take hold of what you want. You are not beneath anybody and you are just as capable as others are. Remember that the sky is your limit, and everything is possible if you stay focused and continue to work hard. Hold your head and shoulders high and remember who you are.

So whenever you feel like an imposter. Remember this:  You are not an imposter, you belong here and there are seats waiting for you in rooms that you would have never even dreamed of ?. 

Written by Syah 

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